Gary Illyes from Google responds to SEO conspiracy theories

Anthony Madden
Feb 11, 2019

Last week, Google’s webmaster analyst Gary Illyes held an AMA session on Reddit. Users asked him various questions around SEO ranking theories which he responded to.

Amongst the misty seas of SEO, there are areas of mystery in ranking factors leading to many SEO experts coming up with their own theories.

Gary Illyes responded to many questions, with some of his responses dismissing any SEO conspiracy theories that some experts had conjured up.

Back to basics: Search is more simple than people think

Gary Illyes stressed on Reddit that experts are overthinking search and that “search is more simple than people think”. He also expressed that the priorities lie in the wrong areas and SEOs should “stick to the basics” and “MAKE THE DAMN SITE CRAWLABLE”.


Gary Illyes swipes at conspiracy theories

Gary answered a question about RankBrain and whether click-through rate has any influence on ranking signals, in which he claimed that those kinds of theories (such as Rand’s theory) are “made up crap”. Shots fired?


Gary shared that Images and Video search is overlooked, but then made it clear that he really isn’t a fan of some experts’ theories, labelling them “conspiracy bullcrap”.


It seems that Gary has been very aware of all of the debate and doesn’t enjoy it, to say the least. It’s certainly interesting that there seems to be a disconnect between some SEO veterans and Google staff, and it’s quite clear that there needs to be more clarity and transparency between Google and those in the world of SEO.

The burning question

There does seem to be a level of mistrust amongst some of the SEO community and Google, and it doesn’t help when big questions are left unanswered (like this one). This reminds me of the question that was asked to Google webmaster John Mueller at Search Love London last year.


reddit google unanswered question


What do you think of it all? Do you think this clears up some of the conspiracy theories? Or, does this make things more confusing and conflicting? Let us know your thoughts by dropping a comment here or contacting us on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the full Reddit AMA here.

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